Many people are scared to make a statement, afraid to stake a stand because its not popular, terrified of being laughed at or worse afraid that no one cares.
The hardest thing you will ever do is to take an action on something you believe in and not even because you’re afraid. It’s because we live in a world where we have become immune to the struggles of others. Disconnecting from our own personal bubble to recognize our absolute requirement to participate in the laws and policies of our country? Not likely. Every activist must find that place in themselves that forces that first step into saying no. This is wrong. And I’m not going to participate in it any longer.
Every activist has their own unique gift and vision. Maybe they can build a website or make a video or write an article or maybe its just that they can charm the pants off anyone.
Identify the problem and begin your research.
What happened in your story? What made you so passionate? What propelled you to act? What skills do you bring to the table and who do you know who shares your concerns?
Depending on the issue, establish who in government has jurisdiction. Is it a City Issue? Is it a County issue? Is it a State issue? Is a Federal Issue.
Begin a dialogue with your elected official. Start with field staff and work your way up. You will quickly learn where you need to go and who has the power to effect change. If you don’t get support, time to call in the troops. Electeds hate nothing more than to get a hundred irate phone calls from irritated constituents.
The biggest piece of advice we can give is don’t give up, continue to find inspiration and don’t be hyper focused on the outcome. The rabbit hole goes pretty darn deep, so you’re going to lose some battles, the goal is to change minds, to disseminate information and to stay engaged.
Whenever I get discouraged and feel like I can do no more, I watch this video and find hope again. This is the quote that always reminds me why we do what we do. Because we should. Because its the right thing to do.
My friend, the legendary organizer Ernesto Cortez, talks about the power to preserve what we value. That’s what this movement is all about…both for ourselves and on behalf of Democracy…Power concedes nothing without a struggle, even with most Americans on our side the odds are all money fights hard and it fights dirty…. Some people have questioned the wisdom of taking on such powerful interests but here is what Velasquez says: It’s okay if it’s impossible. It’s okay. I’m going to speak to you as organizers. Listen carefully. The object is not to win. That’s not the objective. The objective is to do the good and right thing. If you decide not to do anything, because its too hard or too impossible, then nothing will be done. And when you’re on your death bed, you’re gonna say, I wish I had done something. But if you go and do the right thing now long enough, he says, good things WILL happen. Something’s gonna happen. Shades of Howard Zinn.
Be the Change,
Holler out if you need some help. We’re happy to help point you in the right direction.